Report: Ex-Bellator Champ Rory MacDonald Signs Multifight Contract with PFL

James Dudko@@JamesDudkoFeatured ColumnistDecember 18, 2019

NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 26:  Rory MacDonald speaks onstage during the Bellator-DAZN announcement press conference on June 26, 2018 at Viacom in New York City.  (Photo by Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images for Bellator MMA)
Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images

Rory MacDonald will compete for the Professional Fighters League in 2020 after signing an exclusive contract to fight on multiple occasions under the organisation's banner.

ESPN's Ariel Helwani reported details of MacDonald's agreement on Wednesday:

ESPN MMA @espnmma

Former UFC title challenger and former Bellator champion @rory_macdonald has signed a multi-fight deal with @ProFightLeague, MacDonald and PFL officials tell @arielhelwani. He will compete for the promotion’s welterweight title and $1 million grand prize during the 2020 season. https://t.co/Y1GD2ikrr0

MacDonald will be swapping Bellator for the PFL. The Canadian mixed martial arts star has held the Bellator welterweight title and will be part of the same 170-pound division for his new promotion.

He told Helwani how the PFL format appealed to him: "I'm excited to join the PFL, where every year the world championship and $1 million belt is there for the best fighter, without any games or politics. I believe in the PFL sport-season format and fighters-first organization."

The 30-year-old has compiled a 21-6-1 record as a professional. His career has also included a stint in the Ultimate Fighting Championship in which he famously beat Nate Diaz in 2011.

However, title success ultimately eluded MacDonald during his days with UFC. He lost to Robbie Lawler at UFC 189 in 2015, but MacDonald initially referred to the revered bout, despite the result, as "the greatest moment in my life. The best experience."

Yet two years later, MacDonald said he was "convinced" his victorious opponent had fought with the benefit of performance-enhancing drugs.

Helwani reported that MacDonald's first PFL opponent, along with the date of his debut, are still to be confirmed.